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IDW's Sonic the Hedgehog

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6 hours ago, Conquering Storm’s Servant said:

Makes one wonder what problems they had with how Ian wrote Shadow in Archie?

He nailed the character there, and is now forced to flanderize him here in IDW.

They love their simple one-note characters like the Zeti, here's the reason. Shadow was too complex. No surprise.

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Consider that the last two games to actually use Shadow and give him a deeper story exploring his character were his own game and Sonic 06--both of which are widely seen as the worst games in the series, and received plenty of backlash with them. Maybe they see his original personality in that time period as one of the reasons those games were received negatively.

Besides, Shadow having any storyline of his own is a relic of the 'Dark Age'. And we know that they don't want to do anything with the games between Heroes and Black Knight. Including deeper stories that explore characters--which Shadow has always been built for since his inception. Now they're wanting to simplify him so he can stand with the rest of the cast with an unchanging character. 

Cynical? Yes. True? Possibly.

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Can I be real? I genuinely don't think Shadow has ever been a particularly deep or nuanced character. He has a tragic backstory sure but outside of that? He's never really been all that interesting past his initial game. Ian's run at Archie made him a little more interesting but IDK I can't really say I view Shadow's current portrayal as "Flanderizing" him because he's kinda always felt like this or at least has since Heroes.

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Really Shadow's always been like this?

Easily angered, high ego, and reckless?

Constantly throwing insults, trying to out do Sonic in serious situations, and...

I can't even list a 2nd 3rd thing because he wasn't around that much.

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2 hours ago, SBR2 said:

Can I be real? I genuinely don't think Shadow has ever been a particularly deep or nuanced character. He has a tragic backstory sure but outside of that? He's never really been all that interesting past his initial game. Ian's run at Archie made him a little more interesting but IDK I can't really say I view Shadow's current portrayal as "Flanderizing" him because he's kinda always felt like this or at least has since Heroes.

It was extremely common for people around that time to spread misinformation based on memes and misconceptions. Shadow being "the Vegeta to Sonic's Goku" is a phrase people took literally, and most parodies around that time portrayed him as exactly that; short-tempered, ego driven, and reckless and always trying to outdo Sonic. The franchise wasn't exactly popular back then, so it was common for people to label characters as disparagingly as possible because that was the cool thing to do. 

The actual truth of the matter is that Shadow has very superficial traits with Vegeta; outside of being the hero's rival (even though Vegeta isn't even that anymore...) and being kind of ego-driven, their characters really have nothing in common at all. 

You only have to look at their debuts respectively; Vegeta's debut is him literally wanting to conquer the planet for his own ends, absolutely prides himself as the pinnacle of his race and looks down upon the lower class goku and is indignant when the latter proves to be capable of keeping up with him, and kills his subordinate for failing to win. And I know the next arc recontextualizes this a bit, but at the time that was not the case and Vegeta was just a self-serving asshole.

Shadow's debut, he wants to destroy the planet but only as a means of revenge for what happened to his surrogate sister figure. While he does have a lot of pride in his status as the Ultimate Lifeform, when Sonic proves himself by using Chaos Control with a fake emerald, Shadow acknowledges him as an equal and even expressed sadness when he looked like he died. And when Rouge was in trouble on Prison Island, he opted to rescue her when he could have easily just took the emeralds and left her to die. 

From the outset, Vegeta is WAY less sympathetic than Shadow in his debut. Even their personalities (as mangled as they would end up being sadly) are nothing alike; Vegeta is short-tempered, driven entirely by pride, violent, and hates being inferior to Goku. Shadow is calm and collected, motivated by someone's dying wish, only fights people who are in his way, and has large respect for Sonic even if he doesn't necessarily like him. 

So it's kind of frustrating as a fan of the character, that he is so grossly misinterpreted as just a shameless Vegeta ripoff and now it's bleeding into official products; I'm not going to argue that Shadow was the most compelling character around or even the most nuanced, it's very easy to accuse his entire background as overly melodramatic for this series. But he still had his own distinct character and background that set him apart from the rest of the cast, so it's extremely disappointing to see all of that just ignored in favor of a version of a character that simply isn't as interesting because they don't care enough. 

I'm all for Shadow having more flaws as a character, but turning him into something that he is not wasn't the way to go about it in my honest opinion. 

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To quote the guys I think in the comment sections of that post

 

" they dont know what made shadow interesting and are trying to turn him into vegeta"

" they don't know what made vegeta interesting either"

Like lost world with mario and forces with other versions of sonic just poor copies of a thing that works. Hoping it works not understanding why it works.

It's this sort of thing that makes me feel no excitement for anything sonic team cooks up

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4 hours ago, Knight56 said:

Consider that the last two games to actually use Shadow and give him a deeper story exploring his character were his own game and Sonic 06--both of which are widely seen as the worst games in the series, and received plenty of backlash with them. Maybe they see his original personality in that time period as one of the reasons those games were received negatively.

Besides, Shadow having any storyline of his own is a relic of the 'Dark Age'. And we know that they don't want to do anything with the games between Heroes and Black Knight. Including deeper stories that explore characters--which Shadow has always been built for since his inception. Now they're wanting to simplify him so he can stand with the rest of the cast with an unchanging character. 

Cynical? Yes. True? Possibly.

You're like someone else except perhaps more appropriate. (I'm joking)

It could fit with the assumption that SEGA, like a number of business managers, can sometimes take the wrong message from a result.

I think it's quite that, though.

7 hours ago, Jack at the Cinema said:

Shadow was too complex. No surprise.

Mm...you're not wrong.

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16 hours ago, Conquering Storm’s Servant said:

I’m really wondering how Sega is gauging the opinions on characters like Shadow to make restrictions, or what measure they make their cases on. They seem to be doing more harm to the character than good compared to others.

Someone has an idea about what sonic needs to be. Shadow does not fit the idea, change shadow so he does. They may not care about harm, but an overall vision of what sonic is.

Now some of you all might be thinking "well the last two super successful things they had weren't made by them directly". And that thought might lead think "their vision ( or lack thereof)  might not be worth it"

Yes. Nothing else really to say. We cant stop em.

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3 hours ago, SBR2 said:

Can I be real? I genuinely don't think Shadow has ever been a particularly deep or nuanced character. He has a tragic backstory sure but outside of that? He's never really been all that interesting past his initial game. Ian's run at Archie made him a little more interesting but IDK I can't really say I view Shadow's current portrayal as "Flanderizing" him because he's kinda always felt like this or at least has since Heroes.

He was deep and nuanced in the sense that he had a consistent character arc across numerous games emphasizing the complications of his own existence, the horror that went down because of it, his inclination towards avenging those who were hurt, and his struggle to grasp his own identity, and once that was resolved, his willingness to put the past behind him and do whatever it takes to protect the world.

It's notable that 06 and even Rivals made his side of the story emphasize how far he's come and his dedication towards sticking by his resolution in the face of those who would persecute him despite that, manipulate him into sharing revenge with them, or use their past to justify destroying the world.

Only Tails and maybe Blaze has had an inkling of that type of focus.

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The only silver-lining here is that this new version of Shadow that they're trying to push isn't really that popular at all. I've never seen anyone praise current Shadow as he is, and actively detest how obnoxious he is. So hopefully this is enough to convince whoever is trying to push this bullshit that he's wrong and needs to stop.

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It's possible they may change over time. Negative reaction to Amy's personality resulted in Free Riders and Generations led to her behaving differently in Lost World and Forces. It's conceivable that negative reaction to Shadow or other characters may also result in a course correction. Or not, hard to tell.

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Hopefully shadow's popularity is valuable enough to them, that him going against their idea of what sonic should be is something they are just content with it. There's always a chance they don't care and want to force change and that and that could end with the character being shelved because someone had a bad idea it didn't work and blamed the thing.

 

Hope its the former. Could be the latter, sega has done the latter before.

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Silver is a good example of the comics doing his character justice. Wayyyyy more of an actual character than his game counterpart. He's also adorable, and those star-eyes of his in the preview for the next comic is amazing -- really befitting his age.

Knuckles and Vector actually being good leaders and having responsibility? Wow, we haven't seen those traits for a while.

I really like these comic versions of the characters apart from maybe Sonic himself and then Shadow. Tangle and Whisper also aren't bad for new characters.

This is why I really wish Ian had more freedom to use Infinite as I feel Infinite could've benefited from the development the characters tend to recieve in the comics.

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He only became the leader from ST's lazyness. There's really no good argument for Knuckles and Amy to have their positions in the Resistance. They did jobs that should've been granted to new characters or less Classic/Iconic ones like Blaze or Vector or even G.U.N. Commander doing search 'n destroy.

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3 hours ago, Foxthefox1000 said:

Silver is a good example of the comics doing his character justice. Wayyyyy more of an actual character than his game counterpart. He's also adorable, and those star-eyes of his in the preview for the next comic is amazing -- really befitting his age.

Honestly, the comics just ran with traits you saw in glimpses in 06 or were more informed, which was good for both speciation and the less high stakes.

3 hours ago, Foxthefox1000 said:

I really like these comic versions of the characters apart from maybe Sonic himself and then Shadow. Tangle and Whisper also aren't bad for new characters.

What is it about Sonic that doesn't quite gel with you?

1 hour ago, StaticMania said:

Knuckles isn't a leader...and in the comics it's established that he was leader in name only.

Knuckles being a Commander basically amounted to being a guy who stood in front, headed a charge, and didn't scare easy since he's a warrior by blood. Which was fine.

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1 minute ago, DabigRG said:

Knuckles being a Commander basically amounted to being a guy who stood in front, headed a charge, and didn't scare easy since he's a warrior by blood. Which was fine.

I mean he was never a leader, as in that's never been a part of his character like the post above mine was implying.

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8 minutes ago, StaticMania said:

I mean he was never a leader, as in that's never been a part of his character like the post above mine was implying.

Shocked. It's as if my description was less about the position and more about the guy.

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6 hours ago, Almar said:

He only became the leader from ST's lazyness. There's really no good argument for Knuckles and Amy to have their positions in the Resistance. They did jobs that should've been granted to new characters or less Classic/Iconic ones like Blaze or Vector or even G.U.N. Commander.

...if I had to choose between Knuckles and the G.U.N. Commander, I'd choose to follow Knuckles.

Every time.

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I don't remember Mr. Tower getting his army wiped out. Besides, doesn't make Blaze or Vector less suitable options (is an adult, is level-headed, actually has a job that has him/her juggle the personalities of teammates/subjects). Knuckles would really be suitable as a shock trooper.

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Been thinking about the previews, and I actually kind of like how vastly superior Eggman is portrayed at technological prowess than Tails. I mean, it's something that should happen regardless, but the whole angle of making Tails Eggman's rival with his childishness kind has a way of undermining the doc. Yet here we are in the eleventh hour and with nothing to really work with he scrounges up parts from the resistance shuttle and makes a multi portal generator capable of accessing multiple coordinates at once. No lab to work out of or advanced engineering facilities, just what he has on hand and the Warp Topaz. It's nice seeing Eggman's genius in his fields of expertise like this, even if it ultimately meaningless beyond the bare plot necessities.

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As for knuckles, I don't think it was lazyness or characterization he had, heck he's kinda dunked on in the narrative which is unfortunate. Like yeah knuckles is gullible at times but he's a competent character and fighter and its odd to frame him like that. But to get two my point there are two reasons for knuckles's leadership position.

Popular and Boy.

and bonus

" Are we doing anything with you right now"

The first one, the only two other possible candidates were currently by the narratives ( or lack thereof ) dictation not wanting to fight anymore without sonic around and the other was just....gone. So knuckles. And if you thinking of a girl character who may have been in charge, like say amy or rouge the latter would have been a particularly good choice. Not boy. This a game who from my understanding was made by the japan end of ST and they always write the girl characters... a certain way. And if you notice amy in forces is kind of just a whiny nothing, this is in sharp comparison to her very upstart assertive seen in media prior and afterwards. And its something i feel a lot of people skimmed over but its kind of unfortunate. The most she does is just ... worry, or talk shit about knuckles, and then " Ohhh sonic is back " . Just felt like a regression.

So I don't think there any qualifications besides " Popular " "Boy" and " are we doing something with you right now" . And knuckles fit the bill, there is nothing uniquely knuckles's he does in that position because he is , in a way popular yet disposable.

On 2/23/2020 at 1:08 AM, Conquering Storm’s Servant said:

Makes one wonder what problems they had with how Ian wrote Shadow in Archie?

He nailed the character there, and is now forced to flanderize him here in IDW.

I mean if you mean pre-reboot i can see plenty. His character was weird even after penders left , but that was mitigated via the reboot. Post reboot he was a really good, and very game close version of the character. This should be satisfactory. Now it could just be change in direction. But if I am to humor your question. I do have one post reboot idea.

So the thing that finally tipped everyone over on shadow is I think it was issue 19. Shadow a character known for self sacrifice for the greater good, choosing to be spiteful instead. Somewhat reasonably so given the proceedings but to the degree in which to be laughably out of character. My theory on this is that they don't want shadow to look " weak" . In the issue afterward sonic specifically notes how shadow could hold his own more if he was normal, that's... a strange thing to say out loud? Like that's sort of implied considering he's a shambling zombie, but I think the reason is to not make shadow look weak. Like hulk Hogan only loosing if its a disqualification , or when he's pinned , kicking up right after 3 to imply you barely won. Its there to get a character over or to get the perception you want of a character over. And before this now two years ago, people were confused how shadow just bopps a super robot free after sonic and knuckles got their collective asses whipped. Now while I think this is less of qualification because... I just think shadow, blaze and silver are on the more powerful end of sonic folks. I think silver and blaze would have bodied him free. But it plays into the not weak thing.

So how does this connect to archie, shadow was very self sacrificial in Archie to the detriment to his participation. And looking back.... yeah it was kind of a thing. Before the reboot " can't be apart of the plot I was guarding the president " Or " can't be apart of the main plot , doing some weird alien stuff over here " or " can't be apart of the plot... i'm dead ".It seems like they want him in the shit , so to speak. If he goes out of the plot, its looking very " Strong " in their opinion. I think personally the perception of strength is the thing they desire, more so than a specific characterization. Characterization seems to be coming at the cost of it. Things that they were ok with at the time seem " weak " in their current direction

Now that may sound like a very shallow definition of strength in a world where things like steven universe or MLP Gen 4 were hits with children. Yes. That's it yeah. Its a very shallow understanding of what makes a strong character mixed with not understanding what kids even enjoy these days. Its very out of touch and weird and makes me think someone at sega is very confused at the success of the new film because sonic's just kind of dorky kid in that movie trying his best at the start and is a lot less snark in many regards and the idea of a character having an arc being popular with kids was something they had decided wasn't a thing.

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